Beginner’s Guide to Ayurveda is a concise overview of Ayurveda that covers its historical roots, body types and health benefits of practicing Ayurveda in daily lifestyle.
It’s a common misconception that Ayurveda is only good for small physiological issues.
The deeper understanding behind it dates as back as 5000 years ago, in ancient India – including all sorts of wellness of living beings.
Ayurveda is not restricted to medicinal practices; it also divulges in a healthy lifestyle.
What is Ayurveda?
The word Ayurveda can be translated into “whole body,” which brings us to its meaning that holds the sentiment of holistic healing that includes body, mind, and spirit.
It is one of the oldest healing systems that operate on the alignment of achieving a state of balance. Because of its ancient roots, Ayurveda is also one of the most trusted healthcare and lifestyle practices.
In Sanskrit, the less literal meaning of Ayurveda refers to the “The Knowledge of Life” and is often related to the term “Mother of All Healing.”
Ayurveda consists of oral traditions, and written scriptures passed down from masters of healing to their disciples.
But it originally was a practice with limited knowledge amongst a small number of learned, wise individuals. According to Ayurveda, it is believed that the universe is built on five elements, namely – Akash (space), Agnil(fire), Vayu (air), Jal (water), and Prithvi (Earth).
The History of Ayurveda
Between the ages as early as 3000 B.C. and 2000 B.C., early mentions of having accumulated its origins with descriptions in Atharvaveda text.
It includes usage in daily lives through diet, exercise, massage, herbs, and oils. From being the practice of a restricted group of people, Ayurveda has now become a worldwide phenomenon.
On a general basis, Ayurveda focuses more on prevention than cure. Although it provides healing of almost all kinds, as mentioned before, Ayurveda is a means of lifestyle which, when adopted, allows a person to create a balance between their mind, body, and spirit to prevent health issues and stay in their best shape.
The Vedas, which includes in-depth knowledge about Ayurveda, includes preventive cares, treatments, and even surgical procedures, including kidney stones’ removal, nose jobs, and stitches – adding to this, it has cured dry skin, diarrhea, fever, seizures, tumors, heart disease, and much more with the use of over 700 ayurvedic herbs.
Filled with wisdom and vast knowledge, Ayurveda has become a sensation in all corners of the world. Before the British colonization of India, it was a practice seen only within the country.
During the colonization, Ayurveda was westernized, and its knowledge was exploited. But after India got its freedom back, the expertise of Ayurveda saw many reforms concerning its original roots from thousands of years ago – and today, it is easily accessible and widely used.
The Three Doshas of Ayurveda!
As mentioned earlier, Ayurveda believes in the universe’s existence with the five elements of air, fire, earth, water, and space.
These elements combine to form three life sources, or energies, in the human body. This is known as doshas.
One individual can possess a blend of different doshas, but at large, they operate on one, which helps in seeking Ayurveda aid with proper care.
This dosha is represented with Vayu and Akash. It focuses on the aspects which control breath, muscle, tissue movement, heartbeat, and blinking.
Adding to this, it also indulges in all the movements in the cytoplasm and cell membranes.
The nervous system functions like anxiety, pain, fear, etc. People who have dominant dosha as Vata can be considered to-go, but they struggle with imbalance due to excessive stress.
This dosha is represented with elements of Agnil and Jal. It majorly helps with metabolism, digestion, assimilation, absorption, nutrition, and body temperature.
In its essence, Pitta aims to promote intelligence and understanding. Adding to this, it also governs emotions like jealousy, anger, and hate.
People with this dosha as a dominating factor have a strong appetite, making it easier for them to digest. However, they experience anger and frustration more easily than other doshas.
Jal and Prithvi represent this dosha. Kapha is believed to be in control of the body’s immune system and physical structure.
It functions concerning bones, tendons, muscles and is thought to be the glue that holds the cells together – made from earth and water.
Kapha supplies the body with water, moisturizes the skin, and lubricates the joints. With balance, it showcases love, calmness, and forgiveness.
People with Kapha-dominated dosha are reliable and stable, with sustenance for relationships or jobs long after they have lost their necessity or nourishment.
Excess of this dosha results in stubbornness and resistance to change.
Health Benefits of Practicing Ayurveda
Before learning more about Ayurveda and its works, let us first understand how Ayurveda can help you. If a person does not believe in the Art of Healing, they would not wish to indulge in it.
There a several health benefits of practicing Ayurveda, some of which are mentioned below;
1. It can reduce inflammation:
The majority of diseases are a result of inflammation. The cause behind it can be lack of sleep, digestive problems, or unhealthy diets.
As Ayurveda focuses on internal healing, it can better the nutritional intake, sleeping pattern, and mindfulness of a person – which, in turn, results in better health.
The reduction of inflammation born out of underlying causes can be treated by Ayurvedic herbs such as turmeric.
It helps with issues such as arthritis, metabolic syndrome, hyperlipidemia, and anxiety.
2. It enhances heart health:
It can positively affect the heart, especially with people who have coronary heart diseases. Ayurveda is often called a ‘sister practice’ of yoga.
Because yoga and meditation have contributed to regulating high blood pressure, Ayurveda also helps with the same matter of concern.
3. It helps with weight loss:
Several health problems result from weight gain or unhealthy weight on the body. Rather than promoting diet, Ayurveda aims at a healthy balanced lifestyle and helps regulate the weight of a person.
Specific herbs from the Vedas like guggul and Triphala have attributes associated with helping in weight loss, exercising such as yoga, with the conscious effort not to eat unhealthy foods. All of this can result in a healthier lifestyle altogether.
4. It improves sleep pattern:
As a continuation to an unhealthy diet, sleep is also disrupted because of foods such as processed snacks, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, etc.
It is also caused by mental factors like stress, anxiety, and as such. Excessive use of electronics can also contribute to it.
To prevent the issues that arise with these factors, Ayurveda can provide balance with a time-tested approach that aims at a healthy diet. The mindfulness provided with Ayurveda will give you a goodnight’s sleep.
You can achieve this with medicines for internal use and external use like jasmine oil or coconut oil – by massaging your scalp and temple with a calming effect.
5. It provides a deeper understanding of life:
Ayurveda, as mentioned before, is a medicinal practice and a way of life. With the involvement of the five elements that make up the universe, Ayurveda allows you to connect more deeply with the environment around you concerning your mind, body, and spirit.
The interaction between the five elements contributes to the doshas, which help you heal internally.
6. It helps in cleansing your aura:
In this fast-paced world where every day brings a new stressor, and people are laden with anxiety, depression, and problems as such – Ayurveda helps with both the physical and mental well-being of a person.
The divulgence of spirit can be assessed empirically but is healed by Ayurveda when treated rightfully and dedicatedly.
7. It reduces the toxins in one’s body:
An individual releases toxins in his body through sweating, excretion, urination, and other bodily processes. But because of certain digestive issues, the waste build-up of the body can increase.
Through Ayurveda, the toxins in one’s body are reduced, resulting in the overall maintenance of your body.
8. It increases the sense of well-being:
Ayurveda helps in reducing stress and negative feelings of anxiety. By incorporating healthy ways of living, proper diet, and meditation practices – you can reduce stress from your mind and increase your sense of well-being.
The Basic Principles of Ayurveda!
- It is a holistic healing system that wishes to create a balance in the body with the application of natural herbs, selected specifically for certain illnesses or preventive measures by combining five elements of the universe.
- When the mind, body, and spirit are in harmony – the individual can be at peace and enjoy the balance that he has created within himself concerning elements of air, water, earth, space, and fire.
- Ayurveda practitioners believe in focussing on the treatment of two elements of a human being. The Agni (fire within the person) handles treatment for digestion, release of toxins, and providing nourishment. And the second is Prana (life force energy) which focuses on treatment for building up positive energy through dietary changes and daily routine practice.
- Food is a big aspect of concern in Ayurveda, which has been classified into five categories; sweet, sour, salty, spicy, and astringent. A proper and balanced combination of these food types with respect to the individual’s dosha will help achieve a balance in the body and create harmony.
- There are no side effects of taking Ayurvedic medicine, as everything used is 100% natural. The selected herbs aim at eradicating specific issues and creating a healthy immune system for a person. It is uniquely created for each individual after a thorough look into their lifestyle, personality, daily routine, and dosha assessment. Because of this, each person has his own Ayurvedic needs – which will not have any adverse effects on them.
- Instead of fighting the illness or eliminating the symptoms, Ayurveda focuses on the over-all healing of the body and creating a balance from within, strengthening the immune system and preventing it from contracting diseases often. Maintaining equilibrium of the body is the ultimate goal of Ayurveda.
- It aims at helping a person learn more about themselves concerning their dosha. By combining the five elements of the universe and figuring out the dosha of a person, Ayurvedic experts will then move onto food supplements regarding the five food categories to achieve a balance in their diet and have a healthy gut. This will bring beneficial changes in the physical aspect of an individual and bring about positive changes in their mindset – such as free from excessive stress and negative emotions.
- As Ayurveda is tailor-made, it brings a sense of calm and soothes a person. By helping the individual slowly erase the underlying issues they have in their system, it is achieved by changes in the psyche, behavior, regular habits, diet, etc. All the naturally selected herbs as so unique to an individual feel like Ayurveda were meant to be for them.
By incorporating Ayurveda in your daily life, you can increase the positive effects of Ayurvedic medicine. It is akin to meditation and yoga – which have tons of research backing its benefits up.
Ayurveda has also become increasingly popular in recent decades amongst demographics of all ages, genders, and cultures. Because of the increased use by consumers, there is also increased research behind this phenomenon.
The results have shown how truly beneficial Ayurveda is; and how long-time usage of Ayurveda brings healthy changes in the daily lives of its users.
Habits like waking up early, eating lunch when the sun is at the highest peak, cleaning your tongue, seasoning your breakfast – all these and many more – may seem like small changes in your routine life.
But they bring about big changes that last for a long period and help you attain that harmony of the body, mind, and spirit that Ayurveda aims at achieving.
With the help of Ayurveda, you can lead a healthier and happier life – without worrying about the side effects of the medicines. It can help you reduce toxins in the body, eliminate negative emotions, and clear up your energy for a balance within you.